To the best closer of all time. To the man with 652 all time saves. To the man that has done it all with one pitch and on just one team. To the man that players on opposing teams respect so much that his goodbye tour was filled with tears (some of happiness to see him go and some sad to see him leave.) To the last man allowed to wear the number 42. To the man who has broken so many bats and dominated so many teams in all his time all with class and dignity. To the man with a .70 era in the postseason which is the best in the history of baseball (with a minimum of 30 innings pitched). To the man with the most saves of all time in the postseason with funny enough 42 saves.
I despised him in 1996 and again in 1999, but there's no way to stay mad at Mariano Rivera. Mo (as he has been nicknamed) is probably the closest thing to Roberto Clemente than all the other players who have to emulate the late Clemente. Mariano Rivera's charitable efforts have gone out to help several poor villages in his home country of Panama. He wore the number 42 in honoring Jackie Robinson and when Major League Baseball retired Robinson's number a hand full of players were allowed to keep wearing number 42 and one of those was Mariano and with the effect he's had on baseball I think it's fitting that he's the last active player to wear the number in a game.
So cheers to the greatest closer of all time. It was a pleasure for me to be able to say "I remember when the great Mariano Rivera used to pitch." and how far class and respect is able to take a person. In my opinion none of his records are going to fall. Mo is going to go down in history as the most decorated relief pitcher of all time and I'm good with that.